Valdespino, El Candado, Pedro Ximenez
El Candado is Spanish for the padlock, and indeed every bottle comes with a small padlock and two little keys. The idea is that a butt from this solera used to be locked away as someone from the Valdespino family wanted to keep the wine to himself.
Like the Manzanilla Deliciosa, the solera for El Candado used to belong to the almacenista Manuel de Argüeso which was taken over by Valdespino in 1972. It is a fairly simple solera of four stages. The bottled wine is around 10 years old and contains around 400 grams of sugar per liter.
Nose: quite a bright nose, with lots of raisins and figs but in a fruity way rather than the sticky way. Honey and plenty of quince jelly. Some green, leafy notes too, as well as a light woody touch. Light cinnamon.
Mouth: very sweet and onctuous, but again not over the top. Toffee notes, desserts with figs and honey. Guava. Grows slightly darker towards the end, with some Turkish coffee, dark caramel and a light spicy edge (pepper, cardamom). Long finish.
Jerez-Xeres, Andalucia, Spain
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Standard Bottle (750ml)